Esperance Tunis v Township Rollers Preview & Tips: Esperance to bounce back at home

Mkachkha set for opening CAF Champions League win
Esperance set to pick up first win against minnows Township Rollers (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

Esperance Tunis v Township Rollers Preview & Tips


Esperance host Township Rollers at the Stade Olympique de Rades as they target their first win in the CAF Champions League. The Tunisian side are considered one of the favourites for this year’s tournament and will be looking to kick-start their 2018 campaign.

Esperance


Esperance held Al Ahly to a goalless draw in their opening group match of the competition. The Tunisians were compact and solid and were able to come away with a point from Egypt.

Khaled Ben Yahia’s men head into the clash with Township Rollers on the back of a 2-2 draw with Kairouan in the Tunisian Ligue 1. They are currently 11 points clear at the top of the league and are well on course to retain their title.

Yacine Khennisi is the club’s top scorer having netted nine times in 16 matches this season. But the striker is currently in the middle of a dry spell with no goals in his last four starts and will be hoping to end his barren run when Rollers come visiting.

Tunis have no major injury worries with Khenissi, Anice Badri both expected to start. Youcef Belaili is in contention to feature after getting a goal in the draw against Kairouan.

Township Rollers


Rollers claimed a 1-0 win over Kampala City FC in their opening match in Group A thanks to Lemponye Tshireletso’s 36th minute strike. The Blues are currently top of the standings and will be looking to retain their position when they travel to Esperance.

Township head into the tie on the back of a 3-1 win over Miscellaneous which took them two points clear at the top of the Botswana Premier League. They are also unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, a run they will be hoping to continue.

Tshireletso should to retain his place in the starting line up alongside Joel Mogorosi, while Galabgwe Moyana, Bogosi Kaekwe and Michael Pillar are all expected to feature.

Match-Up


This is the first meeting between both sides, and Esperance will be banking on home form. The North Africans are imperious at home and are currently on 13-match unbeaten run at the Stade Olympique de Rades. 

Rollers pride themselves on graft and hard work, but against a technically superior side they could come undone. With Khenissi, Badri and Belaili in the side, Esperance should have too much quality for their visitors.

Key statistics


  • Esperance are unbeaten in 12 of their last 15 matches (All Competitions).
  • Esperance have won 14 of their last 17 home matches (All Competitions).
  • Township Rollers have lost 3 of their last 4 away matches (CAF CL).

Verdict


North African teams tend to do well at home in CAF competitions thanks to the vocal backing of their fans. With Esperance’s solid home form, they should see out an easy win and claim their first three points of the campaign.

Best Bet: Esperance win to nil at 1.72
Correct Score Bet: Esperance to win 3-0 at 6.90
Eric Smith 15 May 2018

CAF Champions League Previews & Tips